in the City, the exodus has not (yet?) occurred

If the big banks had to multiply the preparations and transfer capital, only a thousand jobs were relocated.

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View of the City district in London in June 2016.
View of the City district in London in June 2016. ODD ANDERSEN / AFP

In the months following the outcome of the June 2016 Brexit referendum, the verdict had fallen, sharp as a sales order in a trading room: the City would lose 35,000 jobs if the UK chose hard Brexit , outside the single market, according to calculations firm Oliver Wyman. The shock passed, and companies actually getting into the preparations, forecasts were gradually revised downward: 15,000 and 10 000 jobs were lost … September 19, the latest barometer firm EY, based on the statements of the 222 bigger financial companies, entered the infinitely small. For the moment, only 1,000 jobs have actually been relocated. A drop of water, imperceptible across the financial center of London.

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Admittedly, this last score is an underestimate. First, it counts only the official announcements of companies. Then he says that 7,000 jobs "Could be relocated in the near future". Clearly, the big financial companies are waiting for the Brexit to take place with certainty before transferring their staff.

Still, the exodus did not take place. "I am very optimistic about the future of our financial center"says Catherine McGuinness, who runs the City of London Corporation, one of London's leading lobbies. However, it is fighting against the effects of Brexit and believes that its effect will be negative. "But the consequences will be much slower than we thought. "

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A large part of the work can remain in London

In this context, why does the City spend its time worrying about Brexit? "I would like to know it"wonders William Wright. Director of New Financial, a think tank specializing in finance, the man is also little suspect of sympathy for Brexit, he fights, but he believes that fears are overestimated.

This does not mean that nothing has happened behind the scenes. With the Brexit, financial institutions will lose the famous financial "passport", which allows them to sell their products across the European Union (EU). They therefore all had to apply for licenses to operate in continental Europe, which requires heavy administrative procedures. To give the green light, European regulators demanded a transfer of capital. According to EY, 1,000 billion pounds (1,150 billion euros) of equity has already been transferred or is about to be transferred within the Twenty-Seven.


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